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8 Mar, 2016

Women earned on average 16% less than men in the EU – Report

Brussels, Eurostat media release, 08 March 2016 – In 2014, the gender pay gap stood at 16.1% in the European Union (EU). In other words, women earned on average 84 cents for every euro a man makes per hour. Across Member States, the gender pay gap in 2014 ranged from less than 5% in Slovenia and Malta to more than 20% in Estonia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia.

It should be noted that part of the difference in average gross hourly earnings can be explained by individual characteristics (e.g. experience and education) and by sectoral and occupational gender segregations (e.g., there are more men than women in certain occupations with, on the average, higher earnings compared to other occupations).

Differences between women and men in the labour market do not only concern wage discrepancies, but also and along with it, the type of contract held. In 2014, while 1 in 5 women in the EU (20.0%) aged 25-49 and without children were working part-time, this concerned 1 in 12 men (8.2%). And the gap widens with the number of children: almost half of women (45.1%) with at least three children were working part-time, compared with 7.0% for men in the same situation.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, celebrated each year on 8 March, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, publishes a selection of data on men and women with regard to their situation on the labour market. This News Release only shows a small part of the large amount of gender based data available at Eurostat. A dedicated section as well as some infographics on the topic of gender equality are available on the Eurostat website.

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Part-time employment and children: a close link for women, but not for men

With or without children, women are more likely to work part-time than men in almost all EU Member States. However, the gap widens with the number of children. While the percentage of part-time employment for women aged 25 to 49 without children stood at 20.0% in the EU in 2014, this proportion fell to 8.2% for men in the same age group without children (or a 11.8 percentage point difference). The gap widened to 26.2 pp for women and men with one child, and further increased to 34.4 pp for those with 2 children and even 38.1 pp for those with 3 children or more.

In other words, at EU level, the more children a woman has, the more likely she is to work part-time, while the opposite is true for men, at least up to 2 children. This general trend is observed in an overwhelming majority of Member States.

In particular, a clear jump is observed in the EU in the percentage of part-time employment for women aged 25-49 between those without children (20.0%) and those with one child (31.3%). This can be seen in almost every Member State, with the widest gap being recorded in Germany (where part-time employment represented 25.3% for women aged 25-49 without children compared with 59.4% with for those with one child, or a 34.1 percentage point difference). It was followed by Austria (with a 28.9 pp gap), the United Kingdom (28.2 pp) and the Netherlands (25.1 pp).

Lowest gender pay gap in Slovenia, largest in Estonia

In 2014, the gender pay gap varied by almost 1 to 10 across the EU Member States. It was less than 10% in Slovenia (2.9%), Malta (4.5%), Italy (6.5%), Poland (7.7%), Luxembourg (8.6%) as well as Belgium (9.9%). At the opposite end of the scale, the gender pay gap was over 20% in Estonia (28.3%), Austria (22.9%), the Czech Republic (22.1%), Germany (21.6%) and Slovakia (21.1%).

Overall in the EU, women earned in 2014 16.1% less than men. It should be noted that the gender pay gap, as defined in this news release, is linked to a number of legal, social and economic factors which go far beyond the single issue of equal pay for equal work.\

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